CSR Learner's Corner Archives

Making Research a Lifestyle

Good evening, dear readers!

So we’ve been building up the research spirit through the overhaul of this Bookshelf in appearance and content (trivia: if you haven’t see it below, my theme is based on the “Academica Theme” – very apt, wouldn’t you say?), including the things I write every Monday evening. Now you may be thinking, “Not research again!? Couldn’t things be…” – I don’t know – “…simpler?” If I weren’t the manager of this library, and I came across such an institution, I would think the same way.

Could be that’s a symptom of today’s instant society where we desire to get things, and get things done, faster and more instantly. With a simple snap of the fingers, magic is done.

Of course that can’t always be possible. And that’s why I’d like to propose (again, to serve as a reminder to myself) something: making research a lifestyle.

Here in BCYF, we advocate personal CSR with the tagline “Making CSR a lifestyle”. It’s a short and seemingly unassuming, but very powerful message, once you get to know our understanding of CSR. Which is another story altogether. But you get my point. So, why not attempt to – and I borrow from Joanna L. Armenta, the current program officer of CSR World and the one responsible for coining the phrase – make research a lifestyle as well?

As I mentioned in a previous editorial, it doesn’t even have to be formal academic research – though if you’re a student or member of the academe, then it has to be. But again, I write about making it a lifestyle. No, you don’t have to spend every hour of your life with your nose deep into some article or research material. It’s actually simpler than it sounds: it’s basically a gradual reshaping of your habits, if they need such.

There are times when we jump to conclusions when thinking of or talking about things, be it in the personal or professional sphere of our lives. There are times when we hastily judge, especially when it’s something negative. All these are done simply when we do not possess all the information about a matter – but act as if we do. We end up misunderstanding things, and this could lead to awkward or even unpleasant results. Then we regret our earlier judgment, and wish we could have done something else to prevent the situation. I know, because I have felt it.

So what’s the rashness remedy? It’s a very simple proverb I’m sure many of us were taught since we were children, but some of us tend to forget in all the excitement.

Look before you leap.

Simply put, before we move forward on some matter, we seek to know everything about it first. As I previously said, this can be as simple as asking someone about something – whether it’s to hear the other’s side or simply to augment our learning.

We have in fact done this in school through the scientific method-based experiments we conducted. Of course, it’s not as if we need to write down the problem, hypothesis, data, observations, and conclusion all the time, but making research a lifestyle entails we are always conscious about the third and fourth steps mentioned there. Some of us make hypotheses our conclusions.

Simple to learn, but deceptively difficult to master.

The thing is, not everything is as easily decipherable – CSR research being a shining example. In a world where so many schools of thought have popped up all around us that it would be easier to either religiously stick to just one (which I am prone to do), or strike them all off and “start all over again” with your own (which I am also prone to do), sometimes we just don’t know how to begin or how to tackle the massive volumes of information we come across. And it just doesn’t apply to CSR or research – even in day-to-day things as well, such as opening a new bank account or purchasing something. At times, we don’t even know what to ask or learn about.

Whenever I get a new gadget or open a new social account, I like to tinker around with it as exhaustively as I can, such as do a complete review of the settings menu and twiddle with them to my satisfaction. Again, it’s not always that easy – but a constant desire to know, to learn, is the first step to making it just that much more bearable for us. Building that habit, I think, is important for that – it’s by no means everything, but it’s a leap forward.

Of course, as humans, we don’t have unlimited time and can do only so much – so we need to choose, and fight, our battles wisely. But the most basic steps – being quietly observant and not rashly acting or making conclusions, building up a fort of knowledge that will be used as basis for educatedly acting or concluding – can bring you a long way.

For the human individual who desires to practice CSR 3.0, making research a lifestyle also comes hand-in-hand. In doing so, we become well-informed of knowing what we can and should not do in making CSR a lifestyle, and how we can be effective and efficient practitioners of the former. Conversations with the people we meet in our day-to-day lives – our lives’ stakeholders – become less riddled with bumps and more pleasant and interactive.

The ever-growing pace of our society has given us nice, neat tools for learning that are at hand for most of us. Let’s make sure we use them well.

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